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REVIEW: LOW ISLAND – ‘Life In Miniature’

Low Island are back a year after their long awaited debut album. It’s been a slow and steady process for the Oxford indie outfit, releasing a slew of singles from 2017; their steady rise culminated with the release of their debut ‘If You Could Have It All Again’. The record recieved rapturous praise and brought the band to the forefront of people’s attention due to their placement on soundtracks such as FIFA. ‘Life In Minature’ is Low Island’s first experience releasing a record to this new found fanbase hooked on the debut and clamouring for more.

‘Goodbye Bluefin’ is a gentle groove introduction to the record with its picked guitar riff placed at the heart. Early on we’re seeing the full arsenal of Low Islands repertoire, ethereal dream pop with jazz elements and soothing lyrics that wash over you in a highly pleasurable manner.

This luscious pop recipe is dialed up on follow up track ‘Can’t Forget’. A reflective ode yearning for a return to those sacred childhood memories. “Take me home again, it’s been too long and it feels like forever since I’ve been gone So long, since I’ve been gone”

‘Kid Gloves’ is synth heavy and Low Island at their most recognisable. The track furthers the conversation of coming of age, leaving home and taking that leap into the world “And make me feel Like I am there”. Carlos Posada sings of the doubts and insecurities in making the decision to move on with life leaving relationships in the past. “Scared I left them, I left them way too soon”

Low Island deliver a downbeat and more acoustic offering with ‘Forever Is Too Long’. The dream popers continue their philosophical musings. A choir styled backing once again creates a space and warmth for Posada to express his thoughts on the certainty of time and life. “Great trees have to fall”.

‘Robin’ is a change of pace, more electronic in its nature and reminiscent of Caribou. It’s comprised of a low flat drum beat and synth drone that rises from the depths. Low Island are pushing their limits with this club track which epitomises the central focus of the band; making us dance and having a good time.

‘You & Me’ is another helping of electro inspired dance pop. Low Island grab you from the opening moments and don’t let go until the synth falls silent. A uplifting love song that will draw comparisons to Django Django. ‘You & Me’ with its pop leanings cannot be denied; an infectious bop.

The argument is there to be made that the best songs released by Low Island in 2022 are not placed on this record. The decision to leave out ‘Everything Before Us’ and ‘Down To The Furthest Point’ is intriguing. Tonally they don’t fit with the instrumental themes of the record so their dismissal makes sense, however both singles are absolute powerhouses and might serve to break up tracks that meld into one and other.

‘Life In Miniature’ doesn’t reinvent the wheel but Low Island aren’t seeking groundbreaking territory. This follow up record is just that, a follow up of the debut that takes the elements and looks to make those marginal improvements across the board. ‘Life In Miniature’ eclipses it’s predecessor and is an early triumph for Low Island. The next record calls for more variation in sound to avoid Low Island being pigeon holed for being one note. A lot can be labelled at the band but it is indisputable that Low Island know how to write an infectious hook.

4/5

Key Track: Robin

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